Using context in translation memories: ContexTM

memoQ looks at each segment together with its context (the segments before and after). When you translate, memoQ automatically stores each segment you confirm and its surrounding segments in the translation memory. If there are two identical segments with identical surrounding segments in the translation document and in the translation memory, the two segments show up as a ContexTM match with a 101% match rate.

ContexTM works automatically when you are using a translation memory that stores the context of segments. It requires no additional setup.

Important: You decide whether or not you want to store context in a translation memory. When you create a new translation memory, the Use context check box is turned on by default. If you do not want to store context in the new TM, uncheck the box before you click OK in the New translation memory dialog. This cannot be changed in an existing translation memory (i.e. once started, you cannot tell memoQ to stop storing context). Instead, you will need to create a new translation memory.

Caution: Two segments with the same source text but different context count as two different segments. In this case, identical source segments can appear in translation memories that do not allow multiple translations for a source segment. If there is a 101% match for a segment, there will be only one 101% match in the TM, but you might also have one or more 100% matches if the same source segment appears in the TM in different contexts. If you really want only one exact match for a source segment in a TM, uncheck ContexTM (that is, uncheck the Use context check box in the New translation memory dialog). In this case, since there is no context, the match percentage will be 100%.


What is the context for a segment?

Normally, memoQ uses the source text from the previous and the next segments as the context. In most cases, this is the preceding and following sentences for the current sentence. However, memoQ can handle context this way only if the document contains running text. The way memoQ handles context depends on the document format. The most prominent running-text formats are Microsoft Word documents, HTML, plain text documents, FrameMaker and InDesign documents. For tables (such as Excel workbooks) and data structures (XML files or software resources), the context is defined in a different method. For tables, you can choose another column or another cell to serve as context for each cell to be translated. You can set this up in the appropriate Document import settings dialog (in this case, the one for Excel). For XML files, you can use either neighboring elements or attributes to serve as context. You can set this up in detail in the Document import settings interface for XML files.


Using ContexTM for document updates

You do not need the source documents from which context was derived in order to get a ContexTM match. When using ContexTM for document updates, it is enough to use the translation memory in which context was stored for your document update project. This is useful, for example, when you are translating an updated source that differs only in some parts from the original, and you don’t want to check those blocks of text where no changes were made. Because the original segments and their translations are stored in the translation memory, you will get a large number of 101% matches even if you do not have the earlier source documents at hand. The segments with context from the previous translation are 101% matches surrounded by two 100% matches. This is natural, because the beginning of the part that was reused would not have been preceded by the same segment in the current document – it is the first segment in the part of text that was reused. Similarly, the segment following the last segment of the part that was reused will be different, so it is marked as a 100% match. To sum it up: memoQ represents sequences of identical segments by a 100% match for the first segment in the sequence, then 101% matches until the last segment in the sequence, which is a 100% match again.

When you pre-translate a document, if the same segment appears in a new context, you get multiple 100% matches – the segment is the same, but one context is not more probable than the other. If there are two translations, memoQ indicates that there are two equally good (100%) matches by putting an asterisk (*) sign next to the pre-translation percentage. This saves you revision time and indicates any potential ambiguities. Filtering and segment navigation capabilities in memoQ make checking these segments simple and efficient.


Using ContexTM as a translation backup

Apart from its other roles, ContexTM may also serve as a sort of translation backup: in the rare event that a document becomes corrupted and cannot be exported, pre-translation can correctly re-populate the segments. Not only will memoQ retrieve all segments from the translation memory; these segments will also serve as context for each other, so they will appear as 101% matches. If a pre-translated document consists only of 101% matches, you can be sure that it is an identical copy of a previous translation – in this case, from the corrupted document. (If there were joined and split segments, there could be some gaps, but memoQ also has a solution to close these gaps: TM-driven segmentation.)

Using context in translation memories: ContexTM